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The Night Mayor (1932)

Opportunistic film seeking to capitalize on a scandal in New York mayor Jimmy Walker's office before his name was out of the newspapers. Tracy plays a mayor who has a penchant for the night... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Doree Dawn
Don Dillaway ...
Fred Field
Hymie Shane
Louis Mossbaum, Tailor


Opportunistic film seeking to capitalize on a scandal in New York mayor Jimmy Walker's office before his name was out of the newspapers. Tracy plays a mayor who has a penchant for the night life, sports, the theater, and an actress, Knapp. When scandal rocks his administration, Tracy has his girl friend marry Dillaway, a writer friend, so that the press will leave him alone. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

mayor | melodrama | See All (2) »







Release Date:

19 August 1932 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Awfully funny spoof of life in city hall based on a real life New York mayor.
3 May 2010 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Gentleman Jimmy ("J.J.") Walker was one of New York's most notorious mayors, and since his days in office has been seen in his own film biography (the mediocre "Beau James" with Bob Hope) and Broadway musical (the flop "Jimmy" with Frank Gorshin). There's even a song about him in the 1959 hit Broadway musical "Fiorello!" that could be his campaign song. But during his days in office, Hollywood got its bite in on his life by doing this fictionalized account of a playboy mayor living it up with chorus girls, throwing out the first ball at a baseball game, and various personal and political scandals. Who other to play him than Lee Tracy, the fast-talking king of Hollywood in the early 30's? Don't expect the truth on the life of Mayor Walker here; The truth is obviously altered enough to prevent a lawsuit, but the obvious references make it clear who the writers are talking about. It almost seems like this could be a Capra film (having been made by Columbia, where Capra reigned in the early 30's), but it isn't. The director was a man named Benjamin Stoloff whose credits included an early sound version of "Destry Rides Again" (1932) and two forgotten art decco musicals, "Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round" (1934) and "Radio City Revels" (1939). But do expect a fast-moving frenetic comedy with all sorts of typical New York characters, most notably Tracy's mayor, and Eugene Palette's crooked assistant.

Evelyn Knapp, who plays the mayor's chorus girl love interest, is an unique personality here. She isn't typically beautiful by any means. She sort of resembles Sara Jessica Parker with her angular face and almost anorexic body, and is thoroughly modern in the way she is photographed. In fact, other than the black and white photography, she seemed like she could be from this day and age, let alone the 30's. Warren Hymer is amusing as Tracy's butler who is used by Palette for nefarious purposes. Don Dillaway is boring as the reporter dating Knapp and out to get a scandal on the mayor. He seems as much of a reporter as Eugene Palette would be a dietary consultant.

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